Bone Scan

What is a bone scan?

Bone scans are used to detect diseases of the bone at the earliest possible time and to monitor disease progression or regression. Bone scans are often more sensitive than X-Rays in diagnosing infections and can sometimes detect lesions that are not visible on X-Rays. Areas of rapid bone growth or repair absorb increased amounts of the radioactive tracer and show up as bright or ‘hot’ spots in the images. Hot spots indicate the presence of a tumour, fracture or an infection.

Is there any special preparation for the test?

There is no special preparation for this scan. You can eat as normal and take any medication as usual.

What happens when I arrive in the department?

Upon arrival in the Department you should let reception know of your arrival. Shortly after you will be given a small injection of a slightly radioactive substance into a vein in your arm. This will be done by a radiographer in one of the treatment rooms.

After the injection you will need to try to drink about two pints of fluid. This helps to flush the radioactivity through your system and enables us to obtain good quality pictures.

How long between the injection and the scan?

The scan will be carried out three hours after your injection and during this time you may leave the Department or Hospital if you wish. When you return for your scan you will be asked to empty your bladder so that we can get a more clear image of your pelvic bones.

How are the images acquired?

For the scan you will be asked to lie on your back on the couch. It is essential that you lie still so that we can acquire good images with no motion blurring. There will be a camera positioned above and below the couch. The cameras will come close to you but will not touch you. When ready the cameras will move very slowly towards your feet building up an image of the bone structure, as determined by the distribution of the radiopharmaceutical in your bones. The radiographer will remain nearby observing the build up of this image on the monitor. The whole process will take about half an hour, after which you will be advised that you may get off the couch.

It may be necessary to take one or two localised views and sometimes a SPECT image (where the two cameras rotate around your body to create a 3D image), if more detail is required. In order to provide additional information, it may also be necessary to arrange for one or two X-Rays to be acquired.

Bone Infection – Leukoscan

What is a Leukoscan?

Leukoscan helps in the diagnosis of infection associated with hip and knee replacements and osteomyletis. A slightly radioactive tracer is injected into your arm and any areas of infection will show up as bright or ‘hot’ spots on the image taken by a gamma camera.

Is there any special preparation for the test?

There is no special preparation for this scan. You can eat as normal and take any medication as usual.

What happens when I arrive in the Department?

Upon arrival in the Department you should let reception know that you are here. Shortly after you will be given a small injection of a slightly radioactive substance into a vein in your arm. This will be done by a radiographer in one of the treatment rooms.

How long between the injection and the scan?

The scan will be carried out three hours after your injection and during this time you may leave the Department or Hospital if you wish.

How are the images acquired?

For the scan you will be asked to lie on your back on the couch. It is essential that you lie still so that we can acquire good images with no motion blurring. There will be cameras positioned above and below the couch. The cameras will not touch you but will be close to you. The radiographer will remain nearby observing the build up of the image on the monitor.

The whole process will take about half an hour, after which you will be advised that you may get off the couch.

©2018 Royal Surrey County Hospital

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?